Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Fonagy, Peter

  • Chloe CampbellEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_1109


Fonagy, Peter


Peter Fonagy, PhD, FBA, FMedSci, FAcSS, OBE, was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1952. Fonagy, alongside Anthony Bateman, originally developed and evaluated mentalization-based treatment (MBT) in the 1990s as a manualized, evidence-based psychodynamic psychotherapy technique for work with patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) in a partial hospital setting. The mentalization-based approach has now been extended to the treatment of many mental health disorders, in different clinical settings. Mentalizing is the capacity to understand other people’s and one’s own behavior in terms of underlying mental states – their beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and knowledge. The MBT approach assumes that the acquisition of the capacity to mentalize well is influenced by the quality of early relationships with caregivers, in interaction with genetic disposition. Atypical parenting experiences, including trauma and maltreatment, can disrupt the development of...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical, Educational and Health PsychologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kelley Quirk
    • 1
  • Adam R. Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Human Development and Family StudiesColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA